2nd Ohio state lawmaker resigns over inappropriate behavior
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The second Ohio state lawmaker in a month resigned Wednesday amid allegations of inappropriate behavior.
First-term Republican state Rep. Wes Goodman, of Cardington, provided no details about the actions that prompted his sudden departure.
“We all bring our own struggles and our own trials into public life,” he said in a statement. “That has been true for me, and I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service. For those whom I have let down, I’m sorry.”
Republican House Speaker Clifford Rosenberger said he learned Tuesday that Goodman had engaged in “inappropriate behavior related to his state office.”
“I met with him later in the day where he acknowledged and confirmed the allegations,” Rosenberger said in a statement. “It became clear that his resignation was the most appropriate course of action for him, his family, the constituents of the 87th House District and this institution.”
According to his website , Goodman is a conservative Christian and former congressional campaign staffer to Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan. He served as managing director of the Conservative Action Project, leading “the fight for conservative principles like balanced budget, lower taxes, repealing Obamacare, life, and religious liberty,” his site says.
A message seeking comment was left with Goodman.
His resignation is the latest to hit the Ohio Legislature since sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced, touching off a national wave of similar alleged misconduct by entertainers, politicians and others.
Veteran Ohio Sen. Clifford Hite, a Republican from Findlay, resigned Oct. 16 after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against him. According to an investigative memo, Hite had inappropriate conversations and physical contact with a female legislative staff member for two months and repeatedly propositioned her for sex.
The Ohio House subsequently released a cache of documents requested by reporters that showed three state representatives had been disciplined and a staff aide had been fired following harassment claims in recent years.
Then on Monday, Senate Democrats’ chief of staff, Michael Premo, resigned abruptly over unspecified allegations of inappropriate conduct. His single-sentence resignation email provided no details.
State Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken, the first woman to head Ohio’s GOP, issued a statement Wednesday supporting Goodman’s decision to step aside.
“I believe Speaker Rosenberger said it best; his resignation was the most appropriate course of action for him, his family, the constituents of the 87th House District and the House,” she said.
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